Armenan midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan insists he had to leave Arsenal to "get pleasure playing football again" after admitting that he wasn’t happy with life in English football, The Daily Star reports.
The Armenia international has joined Roma on a season-long loan from the Gunners, with Unai Emery deeming the 30-year-old playmaker to be surplus to requirements.
Mkhitaryan made the move to the Emirates from Manchester United in 2018, scoring only eight goals in 39 league games.
Like Alexis Sanchez, who moved in the opposite direction as part of the deal which took him to north London, the former Borussia Dortmund star flopped in new surroundings.
Both men are now in Serie A and seeking to rekindle the passion which once made them so highly regarded – with Sanchez taking in a loan spell at Inter.
And Mkhitaryan, who has a star with Borussia Dortmund before he made the move to the Premier League, says he is determined to make the most of his new opportunity.
“This is not a step backwards as a great football is played here. I wanted to change scenery and for me it is an opportunity to be seized,” he said.
“I have to enjoy playing football, no matter the place.
"I no longer felt happy. Maybe I was not fitting so well in English football.
“The messages after the two national matches made me happy, but now I have to concentrate on Rome.
“I will never give up and I will fight to the end. I'm not afraid of pressure, I'm used to it having already played with great teams.
“I know that the slightest mistake is criticised while a good performance is exalted. If you agree to play soccer you must be ready to face criticism.
“Serie A is a great opportunity, I accepted immediately with enthusiasm. We didn't even talk about money.”
Mkhitaryan scored twice in Armenia's European Qualifier win over Bosnia on Sunday but is yet to feature for Roma.